7-22 Nov 2022
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage
2:30, incl. 1 interval
A striking portrait of a black family
Opera has rarely been as topical as Blue. In Harlem, a black couple anticipates the birth of its first-born son, with both hope and anxiety. The mother worries about her son’s future as she watches him become a young man and enter the world of activism. Meanwhile, the father tries to open his son’s eyes to the realities of 21st century America, whilst simultaneously struggling with his own identity as a police officer, a ‘Black man in blue’. When the parents’ deepest fears come true, they have to find a way to cope with reality.
Photo: Marta Syrko
Opera in two acts
Sung in English
Composition Jeanine Tesori
Libretto Tazewell Thompson
Musical direction Kwamé Ryan
Stage direction Tazewell Thompson
Set design Donald Eastman
Costume design Jessica Jahn
Lighting design Robert Wierzel, Eric Norbury
The Father Kenneth Kellogg
The Mother Aundi Marie Moore
The Son Darius Gillard
The Reverend Will Liverman
Girlfriends / Congregants
Policemen / Congregants
Residentie Orkest The Hague
Blue was commissioned by The Glimmerglass Festival and premiered in July, 2019.
Co-production: The Glimmerglass Festival, Washington National Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago
This performance makes references to child loss and depicts scenes of grief that some audience members may find distressing.
Along with the printed programme book, we also offer online programme information for this performance. The online programme will take you behind the scenes with in-depth stories, articles, and interviews with the creators and cast.
An opera that is inclusive and diverse, topical and moving, musically and textually overwhelming, and manages to bring in new audiences.
Tesori composed theatrical and beautiful music and is familiar with Puccini's tricks to touch the mood.
Aktueller kann Oper nicht sein! (...) Die Handlung ist messerscharf konzipiert und entfaltet sich wie ein Fernsehkrimi.
Blue embodies the essence of great opera: It unites a deeply moving story with music that stirs the passions and touches the heart. There’s no filler, no moment where composer or librettist lingers too long or self-indulges. It’s a stunning achievement that deserves a permanent place in the repertory.
Composer Jeanine Tesori knows how to cook merriment, how to cook sadness. That she was nominated several times for a Tony Award: it is immediately afterthought.
Residentie Orkest The Hague
Residentie Orkest The Hague is over 100 years old and is one of the most eminent symphony orchestras in the Netherlands. Led by principal conductor Anja Bihlmaier, this innovative orchestra performs in prominent concert halls in the Netherlands and abroad. Most recently, it has collaborated with Dutch National Opera on Dialogues des Carmélites, Madama Butterfly and Denis & Katya. In November 2022, it provided the musical accompaniment to Blue.
Photo: Wouter Vellekoop
Podcast - Blue
Opera & ballet online
Can't get enough of opera? Discover more than 2.584 hours of:
- arias and scenes
- behind-the-scenes videos
- interviews & articles